The senior recruits to ODA "both bring a formidable range of skills and experiences," says Olympics government Minister Tessa Jowell. "Time is at a premium" in preparing plans for what will probably be "the biggest construction project in Europe," she says.

Lemley, principal of Lemley and Associates, Boise, Idaho, ran the consortium responsible for the Channel Tunnel from 1989. His Olympics job will be full time in the first few months but may become part-time. His salary is based pro rata on $515,000 a year.

A civil engineer by training, Higgins is chief executive of English Partnerships, the U.K.’s national regeneration agency. Until 2003, he ran Australian contractor/developer Lend Lease Group, Milers Point, New South Wales. Lend Lease built several venues of the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney.

Lemley and Higgins will develop ODA’s organization, procurement strategy and construction budgets. ODA will recruit a core team of about 50 to 60 experts in various fields. "We are going to manage the work ourselves," says Lemley.

A total funding package of nearly $4 billion is officially allocated to finance Olympic infrastructure, including transportation links, $700 million for sports venues and $800 million for Olympic Park infrastructure. However, the project is still at conceptual design stage, says Lemley.

ack Lemley, the American who took over construction of the Channel Tunnel and brought it to its successful completion, has been appointed non-executive chairman of the organization charged with developing facilities for the 2012 Olympic Games in London. The new chief executive of the Olympic Delivery Authority, David Higgins, also is a construction veteran.